Rick Perry: California Needs to Keep Succeeding

Image: Rick Perry: California Needs to Keep Succeeding

Monday, 09 Jun 2014 09:37 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn't apologizing for luring major California businesses to his state, but said California needs to continue as a business leader to keep the United States economy successful.

"We need California to be the Golden Bear again," the Republican governor told Breitbart News, noting that the state accounts for about 20 percent of the U.S. economy.

But Texas has passed California as the top exporter of technology, a fact that makes Perry proud, and he says his state's low-tax, low-regulation model sets his state apart.

"People here used to say, 'We don't need to worry, we're the center of innovation, we've got Silicon Valley — Texas is for minimum-wage jobs.' That's not the reality any more," Perry told Breitbart in an interview in Beverly Hills.

But Perry has some advice for California, and said he'd have a single-issue platform if he were running against incumbent Democrat Jerry Brown: "Economics. Period."

Part of California's problem, Brown said, is that it needs a part-time legislature that moves government out of the way like in Texas, where the legislature only meets "140 days every other year."

Two of California's major industries, Toyota Motor Corp. and Occidental Petroleum, have decided to move their offices from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas, which Perry calls a sign to domestic and world investors. Toyota's move involves a regional headquarters. The automaker is based in Toyota City, Japan.

"That wasn't quite the same as moving the Hollywood sign, but it is close," he said.

Occidental, however, is keeping some of its holdings in California, as well. The oil and gas giant announced in February its planned move to Houston, the Los Angeles Times reported, while turning its California operations into a separate publicly traded company.

Last week, Occidental reported filing documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation to split off its California business into a company called California Resources Corp.

However, some Texas communities are feeling the heat from the relocations. The Frisco, Texas, school district, for example, has seen its debt load climb by about 60 percent as Perry lures companies such as Toyota to relocate.

The district is located just north of Dallas, adjacent to Toyota's new U.S. headquarters, and added some 3,500 students this year alone. Frisco Independent School District
Superintendent Jeremy Lyon says Perry and legislators are being "short-sighted" when attracting so many out-of-state businesses with subsidies from the Texas Enterprise fund because the state isn't helping municipalities absorb all the new residents.

Meanwhile, even though Perry is traveling around the country, he's not saying yet whether he'll mount another presidential run in 2016, although he'll consider it.

"You need to do this more than once," he said. "You need to be prepared. You need to be well-versed in both domestic and international economic policy. You need to have a firm grasp of foreign policy. And you need to be healthy — which, last time, I was not."

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